GROVEPORT, Ohio -- The 270 Hoops Fall League regular season wrapped up on Sunday, as playoff seeds were locked in and matchups were set. Let’s take a look at our top performers from Week 4.
Sean Jones (5’10 PG / Gahanna / 2022): Jones all but wrapped up league MVP honors with his masterful performance in leading North Carolina to its sixth and seventh straight victories and top seed in next week’s tournament. Look, man, Jones is the best point guard in all of Central Ohio, regardless of class. There is not another point guard that impacts winning more than Jones, as he gives as much, if not more effort on the defensive end, makes guys around him better and is the best passer in the area. Despite what some may think is a lack of height, Jones uses it to his advantage, as his low center of gravity helps him weave through the lane where he is a near elite finisher under the rim. Even more dangerous is the improvement made to his jump shooting, as his form is picturesque, which leads us to believe he will eventually develop into one of the area’s top shooters given his work ethic. The 5-foot-10 sophomore has an advanced feel, is an elite perimeter defender and passer and deadly scorer who leads the fall league in points per game and assists. I’ll say it again, Jones is a top 10 point guard nationally and should be taken seriously by high-major programs. If you want a warrior of a point guard that will win games for you and make your team better, there is not another guy better at his position than Jones. When awards are announced next week, Jones will be the first non-senior to win 270 Hoops Fall League MVP honors, joining Marshall’s Taevion Kinsey (2017) and Wofford’s Morgan Safford (2018) in an elite class of players.
Tyrese Hughey (6’7 F / Thomas Worthington / 2021): Hughey continued to display his versatility on Sunday in leading Villanova to a 2-0 day. He had some back to the basket finishes where he simply overpowered his matchup. He showed his face up ability, knocking down a one dribble fade-away jumper. Hughey ran the floor like a gazelle again for easy finishes in transition. He finished with 13 points, six rebounds, and two assists in a big win over Ohio State, which allowed his Villanova team to lock in a three seed for next week’s playoffs. Hughey has a handful of MAC offers and could begin to attract some serious high-major attention if he keeps making the strides that he’s made in the last year.
Josiah Fulcher (6’3 G / Lima Senior /2020): Fulcher showed off his ability to create his own shot, knocking down two difficult side step threes with a hand in his face. When his shot wasn’t falling he relentlessly attacked the offensive glass pulling down four offensive rebounds. He finished with a game high 15 points and five rebounds. The 6-foot-3 Bowling Green commit has been a standout this season in helping lead Ohio State to the two seed. We love the activity level and energy that he has brought to the gym, playing hard on both ends and raising the competition level of the league.
Dior Conners (6’1 G / Pickerington North / 2022): Dior made the most of his touches, as he was instant offense when he got in the game. He made his way into the lane and finished creatively around the rim, knocked down two pull up jumpers and showcased a smooth floater from a few feet out. The sophomore has a knack for scoring and doesn’t force things, as he is a really dangerous offensive weapon off the bounce. With Pickerington North having so many weapons already, a new and improved Conners will take the Panthers to the next level.
Vic Searls (6’8 C / St Charles / 2020): Searls gave Kentucky all kinds of problems on the glass as he was able to keep several possessions alive securing rebounds. He grabbed five offensive rebounds and finished well inside. Searls finished with six points and seven rebounds in helping Duke knock off Kentucky. The 6-foot-8 post is a high academic prospect who elite Division III programs in the state should be all over.
Desmond Watson (6’4 WG / DeSales / 2021): Watson had a strong showing on Sunday in helping lead his Duke team. The 6-foot-4 wing played well in both outings, making plays for himself and his teammates. Watson plays hard all the time, brings tons of physicality to both ends of the floor, which often results in highly productive showings. The rising junior has a good feel, displays high basketball IQ and is continuing to add more tools to his bag, which will make him very tough to stop for the next two years. The good thing for Watson is that he has the hard stuff, like playing with a consistent motor and battling through contact, figured out, which will make him one of the more sought after prospects in this class when it’s all said and done.
Hunter Shedenhelm (6’5 WG / Pickerington North / 2020): When Shedenhelm catches fire on offense, there isn’t a lot of things you can do to stop the lengthy sharpshooter. That was exactly the case on Sunday as he came out in attack mode in a matchup with Villanova, knocking down shots off the catch and off the dribble from the mid-range and beyond. With his combination of length and shooting touch, Hunter can create open shots for himself with ease as he can shoot over top of defenders and create room off the bounce. Defensively, he can really bother shots on the interior and outside with his length and we saw him do an excellent job of executing half-court traps for his team yesterday. One of the more coveted Division II prospects across the state, Shedenhelm committed to Ashland this morning. The Eagles were the first program to offer him.
Jalen Sullinger (5’11 PG / Thomas Worthington / 2021): Sullinger sets the table for an offense better than most guards in the area and that was on full display yesterday. Combining for 26 points, five rebounds and three assists in two tough games, Jalen did a lot of good things on the offensive end as he made a ton of impressive passes that simply didn’t end in assists. The 5-foot-11 guard has one of the best handles around, an elite first step and the ability to finish tough shots through contact. He made some really instinctive passes in mid-air while in the lane as he’s always a step ahead of the defense and knows what play he wants to make next. Sullinger can score from all three levels and is really comfortable shooting off the dribble from the perimeter as he can stop on a dime in order to get into his pull-up. On a Thomas Worthington team with a litany of offensive talent, the junior guard will be engine that makes the car go as he’ll be relied on to run the offense and provide leadership.
Conner Maciag (6’1 G / Pickerington Central / 2020): Maciag is one of the most high IQ players in the entire league and finds ways to impact the game every time out. Going for 18 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in a close win over Michigan State, Conner got off to a quick start as he accounted for eight of his team’s first 10 points. He did an excellent job of finishing through contact around the rim, cleaning up the offensive glass and making the right play on offense to create easy looks We also saw the 6-foot-1 guard hit a three off the dribble as he has a confident stroke from the perimeter. Maciag is aggressive on both ends, an excellent teammate and an excellent student. We’re excited to see how the senior does in an expanded role this year at Pickerington Central as he’ll be relied on to do more on offense than he has been in previous years.
Elijah Hinton (6’6 PF / Newark / 2021): A player that is going to be one of the state’s top sleepers, Hinton had a very strong showing to help North Carolina go 2-0. Since his arrival at Week 2, Hinton has helped the Tar Heels go 6-0 in three weeks, as his command of the boards and finishing ability around the rim have been hugely important for his squad. The 6-foot-6 forward is a vacuum on the glass, rim runs hard, has the ability to step out and hit the mid-range jumper, defends on the perimeter like a wing and is a rim deterrent. In an era where length and defensive versatility are so highly coveted, Hinton is a well coached kid that will be an instant plug and play guy at the next level, as his broad shouldered, strong frame will help him see time early. Elite Division II programs need to put Hinton on their recruiting lists now, as he is going to be one of the most highly recruited players at that level by this time next year.
Marcus Johnson (6’4 WG / South / 2020): In an uptempo game, there aren’t many more guys we’d rather have than Johnson. When he’s allowed to get out into the open floor and play fast, Johnson is highly effective, as he can really finish around the basket, is a skilled passer on the move and can clean up the glass to begin the break. Johnson excelled on the EYBL in his junk yard dog role for All-Ohio Red, as he gave his squad great minutes in some tough wins against the best players in the country. At the next level, Johnson should be a priority for low-major Division I programs that play uptempo, as he can be your secondary ball handler, is a strong perimeter defender and elite-level athlete that could be something in a program that will develop him.
Casey George (6’0 PG / Pickerington North / 2021): George had a really impressive showing in a win over Michigan State as he stood out on both ends going for 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and four steals while in a tough matchup with Jalen Sullinger on both ends. Casey is a hard-nosed guard who can score from all three levels off the bounce and does an excellent job of creating space with his body. The 6-foot point guard has very active hands on the defensive end and makes his impact there as he isn’t a lockdown point of attack defender, but rather can be relied on to slow down an opposing guard and play within the team defense. We like Casey’s IQ, passing instincts and shot-making ability, all things that will help him be a vital part of a loaded Pickerington North team this winter.
Eli Burke (6’1 G / Africentric / 2021): The fall league provides a proving ground for players who feel they’re underrated and just as good as the big names ahead of them. For Burke, he falls in that category and has used this opportunity to prove himself on a big stage, as Sunday was his best showing yet. A true two-way guard that played with an elite motor and toughness, Burke was the key in Indiana’s big win over Ohio State, going for 16 points, three rebounds and five assists. The 6-foot-1 junior has a tight, shifty handle that helped him create space where he finished with strength and toughness inside. Burke defends with passion and loves to make opposing guards uncomfortable, traits that fit perfectly with the way Africentric likes to play. We’ve loved how Burke has put his head down and gone to work this offseason, which has resulted in an improved version of himself as a player and leader.
Omari Effiong (6’1 WG / Thomas Worthington / 2021): A move up from the Open Division, Effiong had his best performance in Kansas’ 63-60 loss to Kentucky. The junior wing scored a season-high 21 points, relentlessly attacking the rim where he finished at a high level. The most intriguing part of Effiong’s performance was the handful of jump shots that he hit, which helped expand his game, opening up driving opportunities in the game. We love players who impact winning and provide elite effort on both ends, as Effiong checks both boxes. On a Thomas Worthington team that will need a boost in regards to toughness and defensive effort, Effiong will help them there, as he will fill a huge PJ Tucker type role for the Cardinals this winter.
Magnus Entenmann (6’8 PF / Upper Arlington / 2021): We loved the way Entenmann competed on the boards against bigger and stronger players this weekend, as he was a monster on the glass, pulling down 13 key rebounds in Kentucky’s win over Kansas. The 6-foot-8 junior has broad shoulders, long arms and is a major force on the glass. A pure shooter that can stretch the floor in the pick and pop, Entenmann has the length and skill that college programs covet. Foot speed and upper body strength will be the two areas that Entenmann will need to improve to reach his full potential. The good thing is that Entenmann is not afraid to play through contact, gives great effort and has a great attitude, things that will aid him once his body catches up.
Trey Woodyard (6’5 WG / London / 2021): We’ve talked about Woodyard at length so we won’t go into super detail here. As usual, Woodyard was highly efficient once again, picking his spots well, converting from three at a high level and showing more playmaking ability off the bounce. The secret is out about Woodyard, as he’s added four mid-major offers since the fall league began and we don’t see that hype train slowing down anytime soon. Woodyard has the talent, is a great teammate and is only going to get better.
Derrick Hardin (6’2 WG / Worthington Christian / 2020): When he gets his feet set and has space to get his shot off, Hardin is without a doubt one of the best catch-and-shoot wings in the entire area. That was evident on Sunday as he efficiently hit three triples in a close loss versus Michigan State and scored off the bounce one time as well. The lefty has a quick flick, does a good job of using pump fakes and rarely takes bad shots from the perimeter as he knows his role within an offense. Hardin has more deceptive quickness off the bounce than people may think at this point, as he can get in the lane on occasion where he’s an efficient finisher around the rim, although he can’t absorb a ton of contact at this point. Derrick knows his play style and doesn’t try to force things on offense. This will help him succeed greatly this winter on a Worthington Christian team with several good primary offensive creators.
VonCameron Davis (6’5 WF / Walnut Ridge / 2020): In the history of 270 Hoops, there may not be a player to get more write ups than Davis. While we’ve talked about nearly every element of his game in full detail before, we wanted to give Davis a mention here for his impact in helping Indiana to a crucial 2-0 showing which gave them a top four seed. In a major win over Michigan State, Davis made the biggest two plays of the game, hitting a go-ahead three from the right wing with 12 seconds left before racing back down the floor and blocking a layup attempt at the rim, where he traveled across the lane to slap the attempt off the backboard. When Indiana has needed a big bucket or big stop any time this fall league season, Davis has stepped up and for that reason he deserves a mention in Week 4’s report.
Cali Davis (6’1 PG / Africentric / 2020): While Davis didn’t put up great scoring numbers, he was found all over the boards on Saturday, pulling down 14 of them to help Duke go 1-1 on the day. Davis is a tough scoring guard who can really get it going from beyond the arc, while improving as an off the bounce finisher who can get others involved. The Africentric senior is a terrific athlete with leadership qualities who would be a great look for Division II and NAIA programs. Davis recently increased his ACT score and is now a qualifier who will get a full Pell Grant. If you’re reading this and need a guard like Davis, you should get involved. We think he will be a great college player thanks to his toughness, leadership and ability to make others better.
Trevell Adams (5’11 PG / South / 2020): Going for 27 points to lead Kentucky over Kansas, Adams put his team on his back to help them pick up their second win of the year. Adams is a big time athlete who loves to attack off the bounce, as he was his usual self on Sunday, taking defenders off the dribble and getting to the rim. The senior guard has shown a greater ability to hit shots from the perimeter this month, however, we’d like to see him work to get others involved a little more next week. The 5-foot-11 guard has special athletic gifts and could be a significant playmaker at the next level in the right system. Division II programs that play uptempo and covet athletic guards like Adams should take a long look at him.
Honorable mention: Elhadji Thiam (6’7 PF / Pickerington Central / 2021), Cooper Davis (6’3 WG / Reynoldsburg / 2022), Tyler Kindberg (6’4 WG / Worthington Christian / 2021), Nash Hostetler (6’2 WG / Dublin Coffman / 2021), Derrick Hardin (6’2 WG / Worthington Christian / 2020), Ryan Cutler (6’4 WF / Olentangy Orange / 2020), Josh Whiteside (6’6 PF / St. Charles / 2022), Jerry Saunders (6’0 PG / Pickerington North / 2022), Henry Hinkle (6’0 PG / Olentangy Liberty / 2021)